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chuckknigh
07-14-2003, 11:41 PM
Well, I've put up a quick web site to show off the mechanical part of my router. It's coming along nicely, and with help from all of you it's coming out pretty well.

The URL is:
http://members.ivwnet.com/~chuck@ivwnet.com/router/router.html

You'll notice that I'm further along than on my last post. (Always a good sign) I've increased the clearance between the gantry and the working table, and made a few other modifications suggested, right here. Thank you all for your suggestions -- feel free to make more! ;-)

Next step will be to do the wiring, and make it move!

-- Chuck Knight

chuckknigh
07-14-2003, 11:43 PM
This is a picture of it, as it stands, tonight. Time to finish up the wiring, huh?

cncadmin
07-14-2003, 11:43 PM
Very nice great job.

wjbzone
07-15-2003, 07:23 AM
Chuck,
Nice job. I didn't know they made MDF slatboard like that. I've been looking for what to use on my tabletop. I'll be going to the lumber co soon.

I like the way your Y-travel extends beyond the gantry supports to allow you to reache the entire table.

Bill.

tsalaf
07-15-2003, 08:02 AM
Chuck,

Iingenious use of commonly available components.

To prevent your alignment blocks from striping out, you might want to try threaded inserts in the existing holes. This will give you a metal-to-metal thread bearing surface. These inserts are used in quick-assembly furniture and are most commonly available in 1/4-20 thread size. Available at Home Depot.

treemagnet
08-15-2003, 09:51 PM
Hi chuck I really like your design and would like to taylor my router table like yours if you don't mind of course. if you don't mind please let me know

Thanks
tom

chuckknigh
08-16-2003, 12:26 AM
Why would I mind? Go for it! Sincerest form of flattery, and all that...

Honestly, my machine is just an amalgam of the "best ideas" I found on the web, all rolled into a single construct. Turned out to be pretty cheap, too...

BTW: The electronics are still giving me fits. Is anyone here good with circuits? I could use some help...if you're in the North Texas area that would be even better... Feel free to PM me or to email me at c.knight(at)juno.com if you think you could help.

Ever have one of those projects that just doesn't seem to go right? Well, this circuit modification is mine...

-- Chuck Knight

treemagnet
08-16-2003, 10:24 AM
Hi chuck what kind of problems are you having with your controller. I have built 2 different controllers and plan on a new design for my router.

Tom

Mr.Chips
09-05-2003, 06:06 PM
What kind of bearings are you using for your X and Y shafts?
Thanks

chuckknigh
09-05-2003, 08:10 PM
Well, I did have a web site set up, which explained everything, with pictures!

Of course, when my ISP went out of business, my web site went "away."

Basically I used the Kleinbauer setup...rollerblade bearings mounted on 8mm bolts, running on black iron gas pipe.

To hold the bearings in alignment, I used "Simpson's Strong Ties" connectors, the 90 degree angles for woodworking. It was the cheapest way to make the bracket.

No, it's not the *most* accurate system in the world...but it's more than adequate, and should give good performance. I can push the entire gantry assembly, with the router installed, with my pinky finger...almost no friction. It's that smooth.

I'm in the process of converting an X-Y cross slide vise into a small but highly accurate machine, right now. Dovetail ways, instead of bearings and shafts. Should be capable of even more precision...necessary for the smaller parts.

-- Chuck Knight

balsaman
09-05-2003, 09:19 PM
Chuck,

What kind of drivers did you order for your router in the end? I know you were trying to hack some printer drivers...no success with that?

chuckknigh
09-05-2003, 09:26 PM
I found some surplus drivers, and after beating my head against the wall trying to convert them to step/direction input, I sent them off to be modified by someone on the CAD_CAM list. He's been quite helpful...almost as helpful as the guys on this forum!

I don't have them back, yet...I'm getting anxious!

-- Chuck Knight

ljoe1969
10-20-2003, 11:22 AM
could you give a detail pic of the bracket that you use for your bearings the "simpson's strong ties"? and where you got them?

thanks

Darren_T
10-20-2003, 11:58 AM
I get a page not found error? Is the site down now? I'd really like to get a look at your project.

Darren

chuckknigh
10-20-2003, 08:20 PM
Yes, it is down. right after posting that link, my ISP went out of business, or something -- basically they disappeared from the face of the earth.

I'm looking for a new hosting solution, and preferably not something with a lot of popups.

As for the Simpsons Strong Ties, just go to Home Depot or Lowes (some smaller stores carry them, too, but *all* of the big ones carry them) and go to the lumber section. Usually on one of the end-caps, they'll have a whole selection of them. Basically they're rigid metal brackets used to hold wood together -- one of them is a 90 degree angle used for joining studs to the header or footer, in construction. Basically, just an L bracket...

I used the preexisting holes, drilled them out bigger, put in a few washers to space the bearing out a bit, and them attached the whole module to the axis.

In fairness, it's the weakest point of my whole design, but it does work.

Let's see if I can find a picture for you...

-- Chuck Knight

chuckknigh
10-20-2003, 08:23 PM
Here's a close up pic.

Mr.Chips
10-20-2003, 11:17 PM
Chuck,
Are the black screws, common drywall screws? Or something else.

Hager

chuckknigh
10-21-2003, 12:48 AM
Yep, sure are...drywall screws. I predrilled for them, and they hold great in the MDF. Predrilled, because without a hole, they tended to split the MDF in half.

-- Chuck Knight

Mr.Chips
10-21-2003, 12:52 AM
And does that 2X2 alongside the X Axis has a bevel cut on the corner to act as an additional support for the pipe?
How did you handle the backlash on the lead screws?
Hager

chuckknigh
10-21-2003, 08:05 PM
Well, my web site is back up. I just uploaded my archived copy -- nothing has been updated, so it's a bit out of date...but it does show and explain many of the construction details.

Hope it's of some help...

http://chuckknight.bravehost.com/router/router.html

-- Chuck Knight

chuckknigh
10-21-2003, 08:11 PM
Oh, I haven't answered your latest questions. Sorry...

Yes, the 2x2 is acting to support the rail. I cut a (from memory) 30% bevel on the one edge, which is pressed against the rail. The outward thrust generated by the gantry arrangement distorted the rails -- this arrangement serves to hold them in, and resist this force. It's a bit of a hack, but it does seem to work reasonably well. Of course, human nature being what it is, I already have 2 other designs in my mind, and 1 in the works.

As for backlash, I used a design I found on the net. Basically, drill a hole through a rectangular piece of plastic, and tap it. Now, cut nearly through the plastic...essentially divide it into 2 nuts. "Squeeze" the two nuts together, with a bolt off to one side -- you can see a picture on my web site. It works quite well, and does not exhibit significant backlash. I don't have a dial indicator, or I'd post precise numbers for you -- perhaps next time I'm at Harbor Freight, I'll pick one up.

-- Chuck Knight

balsaman
10-21-2003, 09:20 PM
Chuck, It's a greal looking machine. How's the electronics coming? I need to see you making some chips with that thing!

Eric

chuckknigh
10-22-2003, 12:37 AM
Well, they seem to work just fine, till I hook them all up together, and put them in the enclosure. ARGH! I need to back up a step, hook the boards and motors together one at a time, and find out where the bug is. Tedious, but necessary.

The honest truth is, it started "going bad" and I just put it away for a little while. You know how it is when projects go that way -- you need a little time away from them.

So, I'm using the time productively. I'm rebuilding the laptop computers I'm giving as Christmas gifts...second priority. (And a good excuse!) :-)

But you're right -- I want to see sawdust, too.

-- Chuck Knight

Mr.Chips
10-22-2003, 12:55 AM
Chuck,
Thanks for showing us your construction. You'r a First Rate Scavenger (FRS).
In you site you mentioned that you had trouble with stripping out the MDF alignment squares. Home depot has threaded metal inserts the could be threaded into the MDF I think this might enable you to make adjustments without stripping out the MDF, you might even be able to use a lock nut.
With your FRS abilities you may be able to find them free. Ha Ha
Regards
Hager

chuckknigh
10-22-2003, 01:15 AM
Do you know that I've actually spent more on nuts, bolts, and screws than I have on the entire rest of the machine combined, including the driver boards?

That says a lot! (It also explains my trouble with the electronics!) grin.

What can I say? I enjoy a bargain! hehe Thanks for the praise, guys...it helps keep me motivated.

-- Chuck Knight

Mr.Chips
10-22-2003, 08:56 AM
You say that the strong ties are the weakest point.
Why do you feel that?
They look like they would do the job, and the angle is correct.
Hager

bgriggs
10-22-2003, 08:33 PM
Hi,

Where did you get the slatboard?

ljoe1969
10-22-2003, 09:38 PM
i like your design.

what kind of accuracy do you get from this?

what cutting area is it?

what size and kind of motors are you using?

chuckknigh
10-22-2003, 11:55 PM
OK, answers are in order:

Why are the Strong Ties connectors the weak point? They did not work for me, at 90 degrees, so I smashed them a little bit flatter in my vise. They are inconsistent...though I tried to keep them pretty much the same. They also have the bearings at opposite corners. Since building this machine, I've read that putting bearings in the same plane results in less play, and I can believe it. My solution is not bad, but it could be better.

Where did I get the slatboard? A local Home Depot had ordered it for a display, and it arrived damaged. (It's MDF with a woodgrained laminate face) Upon asking, I got it for free...paid for a cut, though, which let me get it in the car. :-)

Home Depot sells unfaced MDF slatwall, as a stock item -- Lowes used to sell it as well. Not too expensive, either.

Accuracy? I don't yet know, as I'm still working with the electronics. I only recently got the boards back, and they work great -- except when I wire all 3 boards up, and put them in the enclosure. I have a bug, somewhere, that I haven't found yet.

Cutting area? It is, essentially, 18x24" The machine is, for all practical purposes, double that in both dimensions. My newer designs are much smaller for a given footprint...I've learned a bit in the construction of this machine.

Kind and size of motors? Astrosyn motors from MiniBea. They're 100 oz-in steppers with 200 steps per revolution. I got them by salvaging them from some old HP laser printers -- HP laserjet 1, 2, and 3 all used the same motors.

-- Chuck Knight

Mr.Chips
10-26-2003, 04:10 PM
Chuck,
I checked your website, good looking machine.
Naturally have a few questions.
The Y axis has MDF that connects to the X axis rails, then there is the part of the Y axis that is in front of it, that the Y axis rails are mounted on. Hope you can this round about description. Anyway the part that the Y rails is mounted on is aprox 6" wider on each side than the the rear section. Was this because the Z axis assemble is say 12" wide and if it is at the extreme end of travel the router bit lines up with the table?
Or was there another reason?
Yes I am plagiarizing your design, as you probally figured out, thought I would benifit from your experience.

How did you handle the threaded shafts bearings, did you use both thrust and radial bearings. I couldn't see that in your pictures.

How long is your table and did you experience any sagging, as MDF material diesn't have any natural grain to give it rigidity.

I'm getting close to starting construction.

Hager

boxwood
10-26-2003, 05:15 PM
Hi Chuck

I was wondering how many stepper are in a HP1,2,3 Printers

balsaman
10-26-2003, 05:37 PM
one

chuckknigh
10-26-2003, 11:02 PM
I checked your website, good looking machine.


Thanks! I appreciate that. It's not perfect, but it seems pretty good for my first attempt.



Naturally have a few questions.
The Y axis has MDF that connects to the X axis rails, then there is the part of the Y axis that is in front of it, that the Y axis rails are mounted on. Hope you can this round about description.


OK, you're pointing out that the Y gantry is wider than the working surface... Right?



Anyway the part that the Y rails is mounted on is aprox 6" wider on each side than the the rear section. Was this because the Z axis assemble is say 12" wide and if it is at the extreme end of travel the router bit lines up with the table?


Precisely. It gives me full access to the table, and the table clearly defines my working area. No guessing, measuring, etc involved. I know precisely where the edges of my workspace are located.



Yes I am plagiarizing your design, as you probally figured out, thought I would benifit from your experience.


Hope I can help! I plagarized (that's such a nasty word...let's just say borrowed) the Kleinbauer designs, and put together what I thought were the best aspects of the design.

A few improvements would be to shorten the cantilever produced by the Z axis carriage, and to turn the triangular section of the gantry, backwards, relative to what I did. That would put the weight of the router *within* the space defined by the bearings, rather than cantilevered outside it.

Version 2... :-)



How did you handle the threaded shafts bearings, did you use both thrust and radial bearings. I couldn't see that in your pictures.


I kept it simple -- rollerblade bearings, throughout. Thrust bearings would be a better choice, but this machine is, primarily, a proof of concept device. Since I did not intend to cut anything particularly challenging with it (i.e. little drag), the rollerblade bearings should suffice. I made their mount modular, though, so I could upgrade any individual component, if/when it became necessary.



How long is your table and did you experience any sagging, as MDF material diesn't have any natural grain to give it rigidity.


I have a steel workbench on which it sits -- you can see parts of it in the pictures. So, the machine is fully supported. I also did not leave any section of the structure unsupported, for more than 10 inches. I think that's right...it was less than a foot, and most of the box beams from which it's constructed are 6-8" across...two run the full length of the machine, and form the bed, beneath the slatwall table.

As for overall dimensions, I didn't do so well. My working area was designed to be 18x24", and the machine is 48" long and 30" wide, roughly. Of course, I overdesigned most of the parts, and making modular mounts definitely made things a bit bulkier than necessary.

As for sagging, there is only one part that is showing signs of sagging. The Z axis carriage. I left the MDF unfinished, and the dryer is vented into the garage -- over the summer, with the heat and the moisture, the carriage has sagged, slightly, but noticably. It is a part that needs to be redesigned, and preferably shortened so that the weight is attached directly to the sled, rather than "dangled" out on a lever arm.

This is one of the dangers of documenting construction online...your mistakes are documented, VERY well, and are brought up by others. ;-)

If you search my old messages, you'll notice a whole thread about the cantilevered nature of router mounts, and ways to address this in a router construct. Most of the proposed solutions are more complicated than what I built, and some would best be built with a CNC machine. :-) My reason for choosing the design I did, was access to the router collet, for changing bits. There must be easy access to this point, or your machine will be an incredible pain, when in use.

One thought I've had, since, is a simple "flat plate sled" mounted between linear rails, with the router "clamped" into place with some big U-bolts. It has the benefit of simplicity, but I'm not sure how well it would work, in practice. My router (Ryobi trim router) has a flat back, onto which accessories can be mounted...it might work well.



I'm getting close to starting construction.


I'm getting close to finishing construction! (I've got some time, and will be working on the electronics again, any day now)

-- Chuck Knight

Mr.Chips
02-04-2004, 06:23 PM
Chuck,
I red a posting from you in another thread that you weren't satisfied with the performance with this machine.

In your opinion what were the problems and what was causing them?

This should be a good information for other builders, if they know what areas are prone to cause trouble.

Thanks
Hager

chuckknigh
02-04-2004, 09:14 PM
Which posting is that?

I'm not displeased...there's always room for improvment, though. :-) (let's just say that my family is a long line of mechanical engineers...if it wasn't for computers, I'd probably be in that field, too)

From a completely objective viewpoint, my gantry is allowed to rack more than I would like, there is slight lateral movement possible on the X axis rails, and some other little bitty stuff that would just be done better on a second machine. It's a fairly typical first machine...and it was a good learning experience.

My biggest problem has been with my driver boards, and that I've not had time to do some debugging. It's cold outside, and I don't want to spend much time in my unheated garage, working on wiring, right now. It's just that simple.

I'd bring it indoors, but the housing's been outside so long that I expect there are some roach eggs, or something else unpleasant in it. It's not coming in!

I'll just wait for a pretty day...our weather swings from cold/rainy to 70 degrees and beautiful, almost every week, this time of year. (North Texas, outside of Dallas)

-- Chuck Knight

Mr.Chips
02-05-2004, 12:06 AM
I'm using gas pipes and roller blade bearings too, on the X axis and it is real long about 60" my machine is a fixed gantry and a movable table, I know these X axis rails will be my weak point.

Haven't been able to do much either, it's cold here in Austin too, Working in the garage like you. I did get primer and two coats of gray oil based enamel on it on the warmer days, and with it freshly painted I couldn't do much else in case there was dust.

Don't exactly recall the thread where I saw your comment, but the posting was today.
Hager